Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Has Big Brother become Big Bugger?

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

It appears the US State Department has been forced to withdraw its damaging allegation that Jamaica has a government of buggers.

Can you imagine if it were true? What a preckeh! Apparently, the State Department, in its 2014 report on human rights in Jamaica, alleged, "Government did not restrict or disrupt access to the Internet or censor online content. There were credible reports, however, that the Government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority."

"Credible" reports? From whom or what? This could be serious. Would wives have access to private communication with concubines under the Access to Information Act? Who in the Cabinet would be leading this revolting charge? Who'd be Government's Chief Bugger?

Certain bwoy 'pon de corner,

informer!

Certain bwoy 'pon de corner,

informer!

'Ca 'im a fight 'gains' me an' me

lover

'Ca 'im a fight 'gains' me an' me

lover.

Would it have been the STEM minister? After all, being a bugger requires access to technology and, of course, energy. But junior STEM minister and hard-working MP Julian Robinson, apparently appointed ministry spokesman, leapt immediately to his ministry's defence with a stout denial that anyone there knew of any bugging. He vehemently denied anyone at that ministry was a bugger or encouraged bugging and challenged the United States (US) to provide proof.

We used to move close but now we move closer

Say 'im in a Clarks me in a ruff

skinner.

Certain bwoy nuh love dat an' go tell

me fada

He's not a dreadlocks, nor he's not a

policeman

He's not a soldier man, nor he's not a

babylon

It was a informer; hail Jah, man

It was a informer, ey?"

No way would it have been the national security minister, under whose portfolio the police would've been at least assistant buggers. As we all know, security forces operate an unofficial 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, and so none would ever be providers of 'credible' information regarding bugging.

What about the defence minister? Well, her spokesperson, de facto information minister Sandrea Falconer, was somewhat less defensive than young Julian. She said Government has taken the claim seriously and "that is why we want to see the evidence that they have so we can look into it. We don't know that this happened."

 

corrected report

 

Well, neither Jamaica's then prime minister nor national security minister seemed to know that US assistance by way of drone monitoring had been requested to complement the 2010 Tivoli invasion, so THAT disclaimer came as no shock. Unsurprisingly, nobody at the State Department was able to produce the alleged 'informa'. So, in a much ballyhooed "correction" the State Department's report now reads:

"The Government did not restrict or disrupt access to the Internet or censor online content. There were no credible reports that the Government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority. According to the International Telecommunication Union, 38 per cent of citizens used the Internet in 2013"

So, the reports remain but they can no longer be categorised as "credible"? Why? Is the State Department's source afraid of retribution if he/she comes forward? Who is telling the US State Department, credibly or not, that Jamaica's political leaders are buggers?

'im stand upon me gate, 'im pose

like a gate

an' anything me try Jah Jah know

'im underrate

Say anything me try Jah Jah know

'im underrate

Informa inna de area; murderer!

Him unda-watchin' and a-peepin';

murderer!

Informa inna de area; murderer!

Him unda 'nuff chat chatting;

murderer!

In 1983, Lady Ann incorporated Jamaica's national revulsion for persons supplying the police with confidential information in her explicit and uncompromising recording Informer. She was complaining about an inquisitive young man who (perhaps out of envy) exposed her love life to her father. Imagine her views had the young man been in a position to know about buggers?

One thing I know for sure. Despite being, in my opinion, Jamaica's worst ever prime minister (winning that event from a high quality field) this couldn't happen in Bruce Golding's Cabinet. He put his reputation on the line for us not to be harassed by buggers.

Bruce Golding insisted it was a constitutional right that didn't begin at Liguanea. He expressly refused to have anything to do with buggers. For nine months he laid his political career on line for this principle of individual privacy eventually paying the ultimate political price.

So, all hail Booklist Boyne's favourite prime minister. Were he still prime minister, nobody would dare characterise Big Brother as Big Bugger.

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.